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Hays Free Press
Kyle, Texas
March 2, 2011     Hays Free Press
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March 2, 2011

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Hays Free Press March 2,2011 OPINION Page 5A Loquacious leader ,of'language lands some literary hlus ii s most of you aflciona- :i::, dos of this here sporadi- . L JLc lly published (dare I say "irregular"?) column already know, I do have a way with words. Not many journalistic scribes are as gifted with the language of Red Neckish as this suds- sippin' scholar of senseless scribbling, perhaps because I have a much larger thesaurus than most, and I'm not afraid to use it. Yessirree, Bub, I have an acute ability to articulate in arcane asininity and proud of it. This literary flair of mine did not come naturally, although my DNA is coded with an extra vocabulary chromosome, perhaps ex- plaining why my humor is as twisted as the Watson-Crick DNA model. Maybe writing is in my blood, but to expertly mold the broken English language into a manuscripted masterpiece requires what I refer to as the "Three Ls": learning, lager and lunacy. I was once told by an English professor that I was a gifted writer, except he used fancy language that stuffy old pro- fessors like to toss around. I believe he said I was "one peculiar simpleton," but I don't know what a simpleton is. I think it means "artist". I'd like to believe that t have a good grasp on the English language, not to men- tion a few choice words in Spanish and even a couple of German words I learned from Sgt. Schultz and Col. Klink. I don't know hardly any French except "wee wee" and "Lady Gillette" which I don't think many French women use either. I can interpret medi- cal jargon to common folk. I can write with a southern accent or use improper Eng- lish like they do up past the Mason-Dixon Line. I regularly complete a NewYork Times crossword puzzle without the aid of Noah Webster or AI Gore's internet, and I'm not bad at guessing the puzzles on Wheel of Fortune. So when it comes to the English language, I guess I would call myself an "idiot savant." Maw even calls me that a lot, although she often leaves off the savant part. lust when I thought I had mastered the language of America and NewYork City, some goofball publishers of the top English dictionaries added a mess of new words to our vocabulary. Words that I have never heard of and doubt I'd ever use, un- less I am writing a column about those words. Words like "locavore" and "microb- log." What in the NewW0rld Thesaurus is going on here? How can I keep up with new words when I have a hard enough time retrieving old words from mycranial crypt? There are words lying around beneath my cracked skull, drawing social security, rarely coming out for a walk along my keyboard. Sometimes I remember a certain word, but before I locate its first letter on the keyboard, I've forgotten it. Now a bunch of dwellers of Cyber City insist that we add their lingo to our glutted glossary and it has deposited a prickly envelope of a fruit beneath my girthed leather seat upon a horse. Here are a few examples of new words recently placed in our dictionaries: Bromance: a close pla- tonic male relationship. I don't really understand this word or the term "platonic" but I will stick to the term "buddy," as in "poker buddy" and "drinldn' buddy." You will never hear me use the word "bromance" unless it is in a sentence like "Thar's no way I'll ever say bromance in this bar." Friend: as a verb. I'm sorry, but "friend" is a noun and should stay that way. Appar- ently, if you add someone to your list of associates on Facebook, you "friend" them. We shouldn't turn nouns into verbs. No telling what trouble this could lead to. How would the noun "cowpoke" look as a verb? See what I mean! Pimp: to make something more showy or attractive. Excuse me? I attended high school in inner city Memphis, TN and I know firsthand what a pimp is and what he does. And it's definitely not attractive. Staycation: Vacation spent at home. Hey, I live on a working ranch and own rental property. Staying at home is no vacation. Now plop me on a sandy beach with a frozen margarita in each hand, that's a vacation. To whoever came i up with the term "staycation," stay right there while I plant my foot up your behind. Turduc-ken: Roast of a chicken inside a duck inside a turkey. Do cooks really do this? It sounds like some- .thing that might air on HeU's Kitchen around Halloween, but really? Out here on the ranch, "turducken" occurs when some jokester tosses a dry cow patty at you. Tweet: We all know what "tweet" and "Twitter" is, but I don't know how to do either. I can barely friend folks with- out freezing up my computer screen. Flash mob: brief gather- ing for a common purpose. I thought this was something done by a group of dirty old men in trench coats. And the words I previously mentioned, "microblog" and "locavore." A microblog is a verb meaning to post very short entries on a blog, not a small chunk of fat causing a stroke. A "locavore" is one who primarily eats locally grown food. Here in Texas, we call them poachers. Do we really need all these new words added to our dictionaries? MyWebster's college dictionary is so thick now I have to get checked for a hernia every time I lift it off the shelf. Luckily, I have a bro- mance with a fella who claims to have been a doctor once, so getting a hernia exam is free. I think we have enough words in our vocabulary. If you all disagree, then let me know. I'm sure with an ample supply of the "3 Ls" out on the Crow's Nest I could come up with some new words. Clint Younts spent his sum- mers as a child turducken at Old Mountain City. Now he works at a veterinary clinic while running cattle on his property. iiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiii!iiiii!iiii!iii!iiiii!i!iiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiii ? Is this a grand and awful bme. n 1840 the poet A. Cleveland Coxe wrote: "We are living, we are dwelling in a grand and awful time." That certainly fits our lives in this age. For as long as we can remember, nations have been ris- ing against each other. Governments teeter and are unstable. Who knows where it will all play out next? The latest flash points are Egypt, Libya, Algeria, Yemen and Bahrain. How many of us even knew that Bahrain is a U.S. ally located in the Persian Gulf?. The countries are in chaos as citizens rise up against the long rule of mon- archies and dictators. In Egypt many regarded President Hosni Mubarak as a dictator. The citi- PERSPECTIVES zens rose up against his government and it appeared for a long while that the multitudes might prevail. When President Mubarak announced that he would not leave before September it appeared that he would prevail. The situation seemed like a tinder box ready to burst into flames, and who knew where it would spread. The citizens of Egypt did not give up and, in despair, Muba.rak resigned. The Middle East has been a sore point forever. The U.S. seems to choose the losers to support. Now that Mubarak and his regimen are history, who does the U.S. support? If any country throws over the new Egypt, who will control the Suez Ca- nal? We cannot afford another Iran or Afghanistan. It is time for real dialog with those who claim to be our enemies. We cannot be too weak nor can we be too dominating. It is time to realize that the U.S. cannot control or financially support the entire world. Task force to deriver input on unfunded mandates ov. Rick Perry on Feb. 25 an- nounced the formation of the Task Force on Unfunded Man- dates, a bipartisan panel of one former and eight current Texas public officials. The task force includes former San Mar- cos mayor Susan Narvaiz. The panel's mission, Perry said, is to list "burdensome unfunded mandates that have been passed down from the state to local governments, such as cit- ies, counties and school districts." Perry wants the list, and recommen- dations "on how to best alleviate these burdens on local entities," on his desk this March. Meanwhile, the state Senate Finance and House Appropriations committees continued with their work of exploring ways to cut the 2012-2013 state budget enough to make it balance. That means stripping off somewhere between $8 bil- lion and $27 billion in state services. To address state finances in the long term, the Texas Senate adopted a proposed state constitutional amend- ment on Feb. 23, the subtext of which indicates a sentiment that some portion of the Lone Star State's budget woes originate in Washington, D.C. Senate ]oint Resolution 1 urges Con- gress to propose and submit to the states for ratification a federal balanced budget amendment to the U.S. Constitution. Authored by Senate Pro-Tempore Steve Ogden, R-Bryan, chair of the upper cham- ber's powerful Finance Committee, SIR 1 has moved to the House for consideration. Its adoption by the Senate drew ap- plause from Gov. Perry, who said he now looks forward to "workingwith members of the Texas House who share the goal of a federal balanced budget amendment to put the U.S. back on the path to fiscal responsibility." One such federal program that is of- ten named in conjunction with "out-of- control federal spending" is Medicaid, the health coverage program for poorer Americans that more than 4 million Texans rely upon. CAPITAL SPEAKER WEIGHS IN ON MEDICAID House Speaker Joe Straus, R-San Antonio, on Feb. 22, said, "Medicaid is an unsustainable federal program that continues to eat up more of our state budget, crowding out other priori- ties. State spending on Medicaid has doubled in the last 10 years and current spending now accounts for 18.7 percent of the general revenue-related 2010- 2011 Texas budget." "lAke most states, Texas is faced with the challenge of maintaining this critical safety net with limited taxpayer dollars," Straus said. CHIEF JUSTICE ADDRESSES JOINT SESSION Texas Supreme Court Chief Justice Wallace ]efferson on Feb. 24 addressed a joint session of the Texas House and Senate, including members of the state judiciary. ]efferson, now in his seventh year as chief justice, asked the assembly for four things in the course of his address: 1. Increased access to legal services for poorer and even middle class Tex- ans. "The combination of increased poverty rates, reduced interest rates on legal aid accounts, and a statewide budget crisis threatens to leave Texas' neediest communities without basic access to justice," he said.. 2. $20 million dollars from general revenue for basic civil legal services. 3. Non-partisan election of judges in Texas, and if that can't be done, eliminate straight-ticket voting. "I urge the Legislature to send the people a constitutional amendment that would allow judges to be selected on their merit." 4. To extend terms for state judges from four years to six for district court judges and from six years to eight for appellate court judges. TEXAS' 175TH ANNIVERSARY ARRIVES On Feb. 24, at the invitation of Speaker Straus, House Speaker Pro Tempore BeverlyWoolley, R-Houston, on the floor of the Texas House, read the famous letter written by Col. Wil- liam Barrett Travis with the Alamo under siege on Feb. 24, 1836. And, further in observance of the 175th anniversary (terquasquicenten- nial) of the Republic of Texas' inde- pendence from Mexico, the originals of the Travis letter and the Republic of Texas' Declaration of Independence from Mexico, signed March 2, 1836, are on public display at the Lorenzo de Zavala State Library and Archives Building, just east of the state Capitol. LAREDO REP. FILES POPULAR VOTE BILL State Rep. Richard Pefia Raymond, D-Laredo, has filed HB 1498, legisla- tion to make every vote count in presi- dential elections. Raymond said his bill "would help change presidential elections to assure that the winner of the national popu- lar vote would be elected president." Texas would enter into an agree- ment with other states to assign all of its presidential electors to the candi- date who wins the national popular vote in all 50 states plus the District of Columbia, if Raymond's bill is en- acted. Ed Sterling works for the Texas Press Association and follows the Legislature for the association. HAYS CONSOLIDATED INDEPENDENT SCHOOL DISTRICT STATEMENT OF REVENUES, EXPENDITURES, AND CHANGES IN FUND BALANCE GOVERNMENTAL FUNDS FOR THE YEAR ENDED AUGUST 31, 2010 EXHIBIT C-3 Data 10 50 60 Total Control General Debt Service Capital Other Governmental Codes Fund Fund Projects Funds Funds REVENUES: 5700 Total Local and Intermediate Sources 5800 State Program Revenues 5900 Federal Program Revenues 5020 Total Revenues EXPENDITURES: Current: 0011 Instruction 0012 Instructional Resources & Media Services 0013 Curriculum & Instructional Staff Development 0021 Instructional Leadership 0023 School Leadership 0031 Guidance, Counseling & Evaluation Services 0032 Social Work Services 0033 Health Services 0034 Student (Pupil) Transportation 0035 Food Services 0036 Cocurricular/Extracurricular Activities 0041 General Administration 0051 Plant Maintenance and Operations 0052 Security and Monitoring Services 0053 Data Processing Services 0061 Community Services Debt Service: 0071 Debt Service - Principal on long-term debt 0072 Debt Service - Interest on long-term debt 0073 Debt Service - Bond issuance cost and fees Capital Outlay: 0081 Facilities Acquisition and Construction Intergovernmental: 0093 Payments to Fiscal Agent/Member Districts of SSA 0099 Other Intergovernmental Charges $39,070,976 $15,275,802 $ 116,938 $2,508,575 $ 56,972,291 70,313,081 5,458,962 2,042,916 $ 77,814,959 1,047,103 14,076,764 $ 15,123,867 110,431,160 20,734,764 116,938 1.8,628,255 149,911,117 6030 Total Expenditures 64,026,258 1,846,995 1 ,374,476 1,490,684 6,322,735 3,588,872 294,564 1,501,949 7,049,825 116,100 2,824,807 2,906,742 9,729,054 1,005,104 1,375,604 269,262 420,337 51,804 134,505 534,306 1,650,066 8,156,239 73,832,563 523,816 1,281 2,372,092 71,870 1,446,346 116,583 1,607,267 32,323 47,759 6,402,817 298,385 3,887,257 294,564 19,812 1,521,761 1,702,607 3,856 8,756,288 70,596 5,988,570 6,175,266 41,546 1 300 2,868,053 17,547 2,924,289 14,475 3,731,891 13,475,420 1.1,714 1,016,818 7,016 948,570 2,331,190 88,456 357,718 8,870,000 9,290,337 14,688,621 14,740,425 6,560 6,560 28,336,540 2,628,910 30,965,450 134,505 534,306 106,863,983 23,565,181 32,410,511 22,101,617 184,941,292 1100 Excess (Deficiency) of Revenues Over (Under) Expenditures OTHER FINANCING SOURCES (USES): 7912 Sale of Real and Personal Property 52,412 7915 Transfers In 8911 Transfers Out (Use) , (533,907) 7080 Total Other Financing Sources (Uses) (481,495) 3,567,177 (2,830,417) (32,293,573)(3,473,362) (35,030,175) 52,412 533,907 5331907 (533,907) 533,907 52,412 1200 Net Change in Fund Balances 3,085,682 (2,830,417) (32,293,573) (2,939,455) (34,977,763) 0100 Fund Balance - September 1 (Beginning) 22,098,480 6,577,117 46,112,705 7,878,496 82,666,798 1300 Prior Period Adjustment 3000 Fund Balance - August 31(Ending) $25,184,162 $ 3746700 $13,819,132 $4,939,041 $ 47i689,035